Barren
New York Times bestselling author Peter V. Brett returns to his groundbreaking Demon Cycle series with this enthralling novella—the latest story set in his much-loved fantasy world.Each night, the world is overrun by bloodthirsty demons. For centuries, humanity survived only by hiding behind defensive wards—magical symbols with the power to repel the demons. Now, the rediscovery of long-forgotten combat wards has given them the magic they need to fight back.In Tibbet’s Brook, the fighting wards have brought change, but the factions and grudges of a troubled past remain. Selia Square, the woman they call Barren, has long been the force that holds the Brook together. As a terrifying new threat emerges, she rallies her people once again.But Selia has a past of her own. And in a small community the personal and the political can never be divided. If Tibbet’s Brook is to survive, Selia must uncover memories she has buried deep—the woman she once was, the woman she once loved—and retell their story.

Barren Details

TitleBarren
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 25th, 2018
PublisherHarper Voyager
ISBN-139780062740625
Rating
GenreFantasy, Magic, Fiction, Epic Fantasy

Barren Review

  • Carol.
    January 1, 1970
    AKA: "Brett's Attempt to Correct for Gratuitous Anti-Female Plot Points In His First Book"(view spoiler)[I'm old, I'm crabby, and I have no time for a dude who had meaningless gang rape followed by insta-love for the only woman in his first book to try and rectify his mistakes by adopting the narrative of a middle-aged lesbian.From the blurb:"And in a small community the personal and the political can never be divided." Straight out of Feminism 101. How come he missed the chapter on the problema AKA: "Brett's Attempt to Correct for Gratuitous Anti-Female Plot Points In His First Book"(view spoiler)[I'm old, I'm crabby, and I have no time for a dude who had meaningless gang rape followed by insta-love for the only woman in his first book to try and rectify his mistakes by adopting the narrative of a middle-aged lesbian.From the blurb:"And in a small community the personal and the political can never be divided." Straight out of Feminism 101. How come he missed the chapter on the problematic issue of women being defined by sexuality? (hide spoiler)]
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  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    Review first posted on Fantasy Literature (along with two of my co-reviewers' 3.5 star reviews):Notwithstanding the publicity materials for this novella, I’m here to say that Barren is not, in fact, a particularly satisfactory entry point for the DEMON CYCLE series. (I’ll also attest to the fact that I found the dialect, especially the repeated use of the word “ent” for “ain’t,” annoying.) I’m a complete newbie to the series, but when I unexpectedly received a review copy of this novella, it loo Review first posted on Fantasy Literature (along with two of my co-reviewers' 3.5 star reviews):Notwithstanding the publicity materials for this novella, I’m here to say that Barren is not, in fact, a particularly satisfactory entry point for the DEMON CYCLE series. (I’ll also attest to the fact that I found the dialect, especially the repeated use of the word “ent” for “ain’t,” annoying.) I’m a complete newbie to the series, but when I unexpectedly received a review copy of this novella, it looked interesting enough for me to spend twenty or thirty researching the series and this world before launching into Barren. My research helped with a basic understanding of demons and wards, but it wasn’t enough to make Barren come alive for me.Selia is an interesting protagonist, a 69 year old woman whose exposure to demon magic while fighting them has reversed her aging process, giving her the looks and vitality of a woman in her thirties. (One of my unanswered questions as a series newbie was why the reverse aging process has only recently begun for her. Is it just the recently discovered “combat wards” that lead to this effect?)Selia is also a lesbian or “square,” in this society’s terminology. Since she’s living in a medieval-type society and in a small town, it’s pretty safe to assume that that lifestyle is not going to meet with general public approval. To make matters worse, Selia is in a secret relationship with 20 year old Lesa, which also raises squicky questions of age and power differences that are only partially addressed by Selia’s recent return to a more youthful appearance.Other than Selia, most of the characters are fairly one-dimensional. In a series of flashbacks, we learn about Selia’s youthful relationships and how some key events at that time have affected her views and development as a person. Brett spends most of Barren exploring Selia’s personal relationships with three different young women, her struggles against prejudice and small-town politicking and power plays, and the effect of these things on Selia’s life, with the demon-fighting as more of a backdrop. I would have preferred it if the story had put more emphasis on the latter. Still, if I’d had the background of more of the series to add depth and color to the world, I think I would have appreciated Barren more. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review. Thank you!
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  • Terence
    January 1, 1970
    Tibbet's Brook has embraced the arrival of the fighting wards. The Brook has formed a militia and many of the town's elders have reaped the rewards of magic by growing younger once more. Selia Square, the woman known as Barren, is one such woman. The return of her youth has rekindled many parts of her. Selia seeks love in the arms of a young woman while trying to protect the Brook from the coming demon swarm.Barren was an interesting story that really highlighted the life or Selia. When I first Tibbet's Brook has embraced the arrival of the fighting wards. The Brook has formed a militia and many of the town's elders have reaped the rewards of magic by growing younger once more. Selia Square, the woman known as Barren, is one such woman. The return of her youth has rekindled many parts of her. Selia seeks love in the arms of a young woman while trying to protect the Brook from the coming demon swarm.Barren was an interesting story that really highlighted the life or Selia. When I first heard that Peter V. Brett was working on this story I didn't imagine it would be as compelling as it was. I hadn't read The Core when I first heard Brett was working on Barren and didn't know what a scandal Selia had been involved in during her youth. Loving a woman in the wrong family in a time and place where such was considered an abomination by many.The story also reinforced one thought I always had regarding Selia Barren, that she does not play around. Selia from a young age was willing to put herself in harm's way to protect a person regardless of if she had to stand up to the Watches or a coreling. Selia will stand for what she believes in and protect everyone she can. It was good to see her get a chance at love even if she was somewhat uncomfortable with what people would say.It was interesting to see what happened to Tibbet's Brook since it didn't really get it's own story conclusion in The Core. The Brook took to fighting demons with similar fervor to Cutters Hollow. It didn't have the wardcraft the Hollow possessed thanks to Arlen and Leesha, but it was innovative in lesser ways. Brett did a good job involving characters many people were likely to have forgotten about such as Brine Broadshoulders.Barren is a good novella that brings closure to the good people of Tibbet's Brook along with a peek into Selia Barren's life.4.5 out of 5 starsI received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
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  • Marc Rasp
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this novella. We get to journey back to Tibet’s Brook and hear more of Selia’s tale and how she never gives up helping the town. I’ve enjoyed all of the novellas that have accompanied the Demon cycle. I personally think this is the best of them. I think it must be difficult writing a book that takes place in a world that doesn’t respect differences, much like our world, but Peat finds a way to do it in a way that works out. Looking forward to the next cycle.
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    I won an ARC of Barren in a fan art contest. I read the entire book in one sitting. It was incredible and I feel like I need some time to process everything that happened in such a small story. Barren has earned a place as one of two tiny blue novellas which are very close to my heart.
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  • Jon Adams
    January 1, 1970
    I missed this series. This is a great return.
  • Adron Buske
    January 1, 1970
    The short version:If Little House on the Prairie existed in a grim world of nightly demon attacks, Barren’s Selia Square would be a venerable but beleaguered Laura Ingalls, protecting a rural community against a backdrop of social politics and persecution over her own sexuality.* * * * *Rating:I waver between 3 and 3.5 stars. I think a long-time fan of the Demon Cycle series will find much more to enjoy here. That said, it was still a compelling narrative and, after several chapters of complete The short version:If Little House on the Prairie existed in a grim world of nightly demon attacks, Barren’s Selia Square would be a venerable but beleaguered Laura Ingalls, protecting a rural community against a backdrop of social politics and persecution over her own sexuality.* * * * *Rating:I waver between 3 and 3.5 stars. I think a long-time fan of the Demon Cycle series will find much more to enjoy here. That said, it was still a compelling narrative and, after several chapters of complete confusion for me, I was able to appreciate this tale on its own merits.* * * * *I received a surprise advanced reader’s copy of Peter V. Brett’s Barren in the mail. I was previously unaware of his work and of the Demon Cycle series this book belongs to. I really like the novella length format, though, and the cover design very much strikes my fancy, so I dove in to see what it’s all about.Marketing blurbs for Barren indicate this novella is accessible for the Demon Cycle uninitiated. I didn’t find that to be the case, as this book leans heavily on prior world building. Brett expends little word count on detailing the nature of the demons and the social structure of the small, rural setting. The first few chapters felt like an avalanche of character introductions, lots of names and vague affiliations I had no context for, most of whom I couldn’t keep straight even towards the end of the book. The first quarter of the novella seemed almost impenetrable to me as a newbie to the series. However, once Barren hits its first flashback sequence, the story smoothed out and I could grab on to a pretty compelling narrative.The story follows Selia Square, a town elder (“Speaker”) who must constantly balance small town rivalries and political infighting while combating demon attacks after nightfall. Complicating matters is Selia’s relationship with a much younger militia member under her command, the 20-ish year old Lesa.Barren’s most interesting character dynamic exists in the relationship between these two women. Selia is in her late 70s. However, a side-effect of killing demons is an absorption of their energies, imbuing aging warriors with supernatural youth, vigor, and desire. (This effect seems to be a recent discovery within the Demon Cycle world, but I was never clear on how or when it was harnessed.) Though she’s acted as Speaker for many decades, Selia looks and performs as a vital woman in her late 30s. Lesa, barely an adult, has been her lover in secret, hiding their relationship from a community with obvious Puritanical-style prejudices. The brazen young woman cares little for scorn or judgment and wants to love her openly. But Selia knows that her position as Speaker is tenuous, and that public reveal of her sexuality could undermine her leadership. With nightly demon attacks growing more concerted and disturbingly deliberate, Selia fears that the people of her community could suffer, violently, should their leadership falter to bickering and innuendo.And, of course, Selia’s own personal history is marred by a half-century old tragedy which taught her to keep her true nature hidden.A few flashback sequences build the foundation of Selia’s present day dilemmas. They have a sort of Wizard and Glass quality which I enjoyed. We see our protagonist in her 19th year, helping her mother teach school, learning leadership from her Speaker father, and kissing her best friend Deardra when they think nobody is looking. When a new girl, Anjy, is brought into her family’s household, Selia’s mundane routines give way to exciting, lustful, and eventually catastrophic events that shape her life in profound ways. These flashbacks fill in the backstory of her deep-seated, bad blood relationships with other township leaders, social infections bubbling to the surface fifty years later.A problem with Barren, though, is that while Selia develops into a multi-layered character over the novella, the other love interests in her life do not. Deardra, Lesa, and especially Anjy are largely two dimensional and serve Selia’s story without seeming to live for themselves. For me, that lack of depth caused a few important scenes to feel devoid of real emotion.The imbalanced power dynamic between the aged Speaker and the young warrior she both commands and beds is the most interesting relationship in Barren. The emotional impact for Selia is explored — her frustration and regret when she must exert that social dominance in unhealthy ways. But, because we know nothing about Lesa other than she is a passionate lover and excellent fighter, the development of that dynamic over 144 pages isn’t wholly satisfying.Barren has a few other characteristics that I found a bit irritating. Brett writes his character dialogue with a very specific dialect, with a stilted grammatical structure. It caused me to pause often and reread lines to make sure I understood what was being said. In particular, the characters use the word “ent” constantly, as a blanket replacement for "will not/am not/ain’t”. It’s distracting, but I got used to it. The word “succor” appeared very frequently, even multiple times on a page, and while it’s clearly meaningful in Barren’s vernacular, its overuse felt clumsy.The aspect of dialogue that bothered me the most, though, was use of the term “square” as Barren’s word for gay/lesbian. The flashback sequences detail how Selia and Deardra call themselves the "Square Girls Club", a secret organization of just two members. Yet, Square is also Selia’s surname, which feels VERY on the nose. I don’t think that surname even comes up until halfway through the book. When it did, it pulled me out of the story, trying to figure out if it was a typo.All that said, Barren was a quick, pretty entertaining read. I quite liked the complicated Selia. The flashbacks held my interest. I’m still largely clueless about the nature of the demons. Brett just doesn’t spend any of the novella’s limited word count explaining much of what they look like or what their powers are. And the mystical system of Wards is referenced constantly but I gained no understanding of how it worked. I’d guess that previous Demon Cycle novels explore the nature of magic thoroughly, but there’s no context in this novella to create genuine interest in it. The story ends abruptly, with no denouement, but it ties up all the plot threads and sufficiently completes this character arc for Selia Square. There are hints of greater demon struggles to come, which I imagine will be explored in the series’ next full novel.Did I enjoy it?I struggled with the first third of the novella. But, by the end, I was pretty caught up in Selia’s tale, even with some quibbles constantly gnawing at me. And it inspired some post-read story and craft contemplation, which is a big plus for me.Am I the intended audience for this book?Since this is book 5.5 (?) in a series of novels which I was not previously familiar with, not really. Also, the rustic, pioneer-with-a-fantasy-twist setting isn’t particularly appealing to me.Would I have picked this book up off a store shelf?The cover design for Barren would have definitely caught my eye. I like the blue, textured cover and mystical wards around the title treatment. I would have at least plucked it from a bookstore shelf to read the back cover.Will I keep it on my bookshelf?I’m unlikely to re-read Barren, so I probably won’t keep it on my shelf. However, I sometimes hold onto books with cool cover design or trade dress for use as inspiration. That might be the case for Barren, at least for awhile.Would I read more from this author or series?Since the world setting isn’t really my jam, I don’t feel compelled to dive deeper into the Demon Cycle series. But I’m convinced enough of Peter V. Brett’s storytelling abilities that I’d take another shot at his work outside of this world.
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  • Leigh009
    January 1, 1970
    Tired.......poor! Disgrace!An absolute disgrace to read this book in line with the other books. Money making drivel!! No proper plot, characters thin with no substance! Why DO author's do this?? Ruin perfectly fine stories by extending its draw! YOU have told the story! Move on to different pastures! You're ruining your hard earned reputation, from great books, to drivel!!DO NOT waste your time and money on this essay, marked at a D-! With a see me after class note!
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  • Reggie Kray
    January 1, 1970
    Nope. I don’t care about another’s sexuality. It’s personal. What I do care about - a 20 year old with a partner who is in her 60s. Some may call it love. I call it fucking disgusting. But to each their own, right? This stained the adoration I had for the Demon Cycle. Many reviews claimed this to be a money grab. I reluctantly agree.
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    A nice return to Thesa, here. Mind blowing? No. Cool and easy to read? Yes. And in some ways, I found this more enjoyable than The Core.
  • Samuel Wood
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy from HarperVoyager in exchange for an honest review.I've loved this world since I first picked up The Desert Spear of all books (made for an interesting experience, going back to read book one) and getting an opportunity like this to dig into the world and the minor characters that make it feel real, that people live in it, was amazing. Set during the messy business of the last couple books of the Demon Cycle, Barren focuses on Arlen Bales' hometown and the trials they fac I received a free copy from HarperVoyager in exchange for an honest review.I've loved this world since I first picked up The Desert Spear of all books (made for an interesting experience, going back to read book one) and getting an opportunity like this to dig into the world and the minor characters that make it feel real, that people live in it, was amazing. Set during the messy business of the last couple books of the Demon Cycle, Barren focuses on Arlen Bales' hometown and the trials they face as one of the demon prince's turn their eyes upon them. While half the narrative is focused on these trials, the other half digs into a tragic event some 50 years earlier and the root cause of some major divisions among the humans. The way both narratives are handled and intertwined leads to them flowing along what felt like a single narrative line and not two interweaving. I look forward to whatever stories will be told next in this world.
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  • Craig Evans
    January 1, 1970
    Dark, brutal and once again bloody brilliant! Pun intended! One of my all time favourite authors. Superb writing that’s a joy to read.
  • Rowen
    January 1, 1970
    Short, but a lovely companion to the demon cycle, and answered a few questions I had as well as some I hadn't thought of
  • Marzie
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsUpon accepting to review this novella, I read the first two books in the Demon Cycle series to try to learn about the setting, the magic system, and frankly to gather my own thoughts about a series that I've seen alternately praised and reviled by readers as stunning but filled with violence, especially sexual violence. I can definitely say that The Painted/Warded Man and Desert Spear are violent books, with ample sexual violence (female and male rape). I also took time to read an AMA o 3.5 StarsUpon accepting to review this novella, I read the first two books in the Demon Cycle series to try to learn about the setting, the magic system, and frankly to gather my own thoughts about a series that I've seen alternately praised and reviled by readers as stunning but filled with violence, especially sexual violence. I can definitely say that The Painted/Warded Man and Desert Spear are violent books, with ample sexual violence (female and male rape). I also took time to read an AMA on Reddit in which Brett tried to explain his rationale for the sexual violence in his stories and in a way, his point about how common sexual violence is is certainly being made for him at present when one peruses the tweets with #MeToo and #WhyIDidntReport hashtags all over Twitter. Sexual assault is an all too common experience in our culture and the will to survive and thrive is one that needs stoking. However, I also think it's a valid point that some readers may want fantasy without this particular horror. This series is definitely not for those people who don't want to see sexual violence in fantasy. For those who might want a taste of the series without the level of violence in some of the earlier books but with a feel for the magical battles against demonic creatures called the corelings, Barren might be a fit, though I'm not sure its the best entry point for these series since it does appear to have, unsurprisingly given its position in the Demon Cycle timeline, spoilers for the series. I'm also not sure it's Brett's finest writing in terms of character development compared to what I've seen.Barren is the story of Selia Square, a Speaker (Leader) of Tibbet's Brook. Selia is sixty-nine at the book's opening but the magical warding used in battling demons that plague Tibbet's Brook has caused a reversed aging process and she looks much younger than her years. She has taken a much younger woman as a lover (Selia is a lesbian) and she worries that this will give her community the excuse to "stake her" like they have recently done to another woman, who I gather was a central character in the Demon Cycle series. (Staking someone at night in this world seems to imply they will meet a horrible end, though honestly I'm not 100% sure that the character referred to really bit the demon dust.) Even the community's minister, Tender Harral warns Selia about her misguided ways, and when Selia responds that she is who she is, he replies that "We are who we want to be," echoing the offensive real world idea of a "lifestyle choice." Selia, of course, scoffs at his warning. We get to see several relationships that Selia has had thanks to flashbacks to fifty years before, when she was a young woman of nineteen rejecting the idea of marrying an eligible young man her father approves of and who, it seems, becomes a lifelong foe of hers, as a result of this perceived slight. The development of Selia as a gay character was balanced between her sexuality and prowess as a demonfighter/leader in her community, meaning her success as an individual, something I always consider a positive. Selia's various lovers show robust physical affection with her and the physicality was pleasant to read, as well.Although through the flashbacks we come to see Selia's terrible loss of a lover, and the lasting consequences, to the present day, that followed this tragedy, I can't say that I felt I learned much about many of the other characters in the novella. They were rather thin characterizations, and in some ways I find that quite uncharacteristic of Brett's writing, which, while it may not be quite my fare, is skilled in both world-building and character development according to what I found in the first two novels.I'd heartily recommend this novella for longtime readers of the Demon Cycle series. It may also satisfy those who are looking for shorter works depicting queer characters working their way into an open lifestyle in a resistant community. Selia's success is the most heartening part of the story for me.I received a copy of the final book from Harper Voyager in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Patrick St-Denis
    January 1, 1970
    I continue to be way behind on my Peter V. Brett reading, with no excuse to offer to explain this. And now that the sequence is complete, I figure I will have to do something about this sooner rather than later. Still, having enjoyed all of the author's previous novellas, I was happy to give Barren a shot when I was offered an early read.If, like me, you are not up to date with Brett's Demon Cycle, keep in mind that this novella contains minor spoilers as to what has been taking place in the mai I continue to be way behind on my Peter V. Brett reading, with no excuse to offer to explain this. And now that the sequence is complete, I figure I will have to do something about this sooner rather than later. Still, having enjoyed all of the author's previous novellas, I was happy to give Barren a shot when I was offered an early read.If, like me, you are not up to date with Brett's Demon Cycle, keep in mind that this novella contains minor spoilers as to what has been taking place in the main series. In any event, I'm not sure why anyone uninitiated would want to read Barren before the Demon Cycle installments, as it's meant to sort of fill in the blanks regarding some characters and storylines. Hence, I reckon this one to be for existing Brett fans and not for newbies.Here's the blurb:New York Times bestselling author Peter V. Brett returns to his groundbreaking Demon Cycle series with this enthralling novella—the latest story set in his much-loved fantasy world.Each night, the world is overrun by bloodthirsty demons. For centuries, humanity survived only by hiding behind defensive wards—magical symbols with the power to repel the demons. Now, the rediscovery of long-forgotten combat wards has given them the magic they need to fight back.In Tibbet’s Brook, the fighting wards have brought change, but the factions and grudges of a troubled past remain. Selia Square, the woman they call Barren, has long been the force that holds the Brook together. As a terrifying new threat emerges, she rallies her people once again.But Selia has a past of her own. And in a small community the personal and the political can never be divided. If Tibbet’s Brook is to survive, Selia must uncover memories she has buried deep—the woman she once was, the woman she once loved—and retell their story.As was the case with Brett's The Great Bazaar and Other Stories and Brayan's Gold, understandably this latest novella is part of a vaster story arc. And unlike Messenger's Legacy, Barren worked well as a stand-alone. In all likelihood due to the fact that this latest work doesn't contain important spoilers like its predecessor. Indeed, Barren is meant more to further flesh out the main protagonist, Selia Square.There is only one point of view and it's that of Selia. The woman is Tibbet's Brook's Speaker. Her mandate demands that she balance what is often small town bickering and politicking while coordinating the community's struggles against the nightly demon attacks. As a lesbian in such a small rural environment, Selia's sexuality and how it affects how she is perceived are at the heart of the tale that is Barren.The structure of the novella follows two different timelines. The first features an older Selia, the Speaker in her seventies, having a secret love affair with a much younger woman. The second occurs fifty years earlier and essentially recounts Selia's backstory and that of the Square Girls' Club. And though protecting the town against demons come every nightfall is part of the plot in both timelines, ultimately Barren is more about the exploration of social politics and sexual persecution in a small, rural community.These novellas give Peter V. Brett a chance to explore a different locale from his universe, while telling a tale that helps flesh out one of his main protagonists even more. And as was the case with Messenger's Legacy, Barren once again captures the author's knack for creating a dark atmosphere, one in which certain characters act as beacons of light offering a brighter future to come.In the end, Barren should appeal to Brett's numerous fans as they eagerly await his new series set in the same universe.For more reviews, check out www.fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com
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  • Shay
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received a free advance review copy of this title from the publisher.Structurally, the novella moves back and forth between Selia’s past, where she lives with her parents, and helps her mother run the local school, and the present where she serves as Speaker, and lives alone, but risks exposure to the community by taking up with a woman five decades her junior. Given the short length of the book, Selia is the only character who feels significantly developed, though by the end I fel Disclaimer: I received a free advance review copy of this title from the publisher.Structurally, the novella moves back and forth between Selia’s past, where she lives with her parents, and helps her mother run the local school, and the present where she serves as Speaker, and lives alone, but risks exposure to the community by taking up with a woman five decades her junior. Given the short length of the book, Selia is the only character who feels significantly developed, though by the end I felt I had somewhat of a sense of Jeorje as well. Based on reading synopses for other books in the main series, it does not seem that Selia is a significant character there, so I am not sure if I will continue reading. I am a bit curious to learn more about the magic system based on the small taste I got in Barren. more
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  • William Bentrim
    January 1, 1970
    Barren by Peter V. BrettThis is a novella which surprisingly does not mean a small nova. If you have read any of my reviews you have to be aware that my sense of humor is an acquired taste. The book takes place as part of the Demon Cycle that is Brett’s bread and butter. Selia, the town speaker, is forced to defend both her body and her reputation as the demons demonstrate new threats. The author attacks preconceived notions on sexuality. He does a very good job on showing why prejudice is short Barren by Peter V. BrettThis is a novella which surprisingly does not mean a small nova. If you have read any of my reviews you have to be aware that my sense of humor is an acquired taste. The book takes place as part of the Demon Cycle that is Brett’s bread and butter. Selia, the town speaker, is forced to defend both her body and her reputation as the demons demonstrate new threats. The author attacks preconceived notions on sexuality. He does a very good job on showing why prejudice is short sighted. In the book, prejudice isn’t short sighted but dangerous to boot. I am not familiar with Brett’s universe but this novella impressed me with both its willingness to address societal issues and the vibrant color of its setting. I recommend the book.
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  • Bob Reiss
    January 1, 1970
    One of the problems with epic fantasy series is that as the story progresses and the world gets bigger, often the smaller tales slip through the cracks. In Barren, Brett brings us back into the world of his Demon Cycle and gives us a small glimpse at how the town that was the original home of Arlen Bales has progressed. Its great to return to this world and see look at how these characters have developed. Plus, plenty of demon killing action. Narrator Xe Sands delivers a solid performance. At ti One of the problems with epic fantasy series is that as the story progresses and the world gets bigger, often the smaller tales slip through the cracks. In Barren, Brett brings us back into the world of his Demon Cycle and gives us a small glimpse at how the town that was the original home of Arlen Bales has progressed. Its great to return to this world and see look at how these characters have developed. Plus, plenty of demon killing action. Narrator Xe Sands delivers a solid performance. At times the cadence of her delivery seems awkward but sometimes the awkwardness actually plays into the narrative.
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  • Tonya Nardi
    January 1, 1970
    A nice addition to the series and it’s a pleasure to get Selia’s backstory but it seemed a little pat.
  • Allan van der Heiden
    January 1, 1970
    This was a short but great add on to the painted man story. Peter V Brett can make many more of these side stories and they will all be great.
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